Summer term in Oxford can be a mixed bag. While the weather picks up, many huddle in the library, faced with the impending doom of exams. But whether you need a break from the books or a refuge from an unexpected shower, the cinema is a place of escape. This Trinity there is an abundance of big movies hitting the screens, and here is a selection of the most notable to keep you going until the next vacation.
23rd April (0th week) – Avengers: Age of Ultron
The latest instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe reunites the superhero team against the evil robot Ultron (James Spader). The trailer promises a lot of infighting, with Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans all squaring up against each other. Hopefully, this is the film to show how much the genre has left to explore, given the glut of comic book movies headed our way over the next five years. Expect humour, action and a few surprises, courtesy of Joss Whedon.
14th May (3rd week) – Mad Max: Fury Road
Another sequel, coming twenty years after Mel Gibson’s third Mad Max film. Tom Hardy (cementing his hard-man reputation) replaces Gibson as Max Rockatansky in what is essentially a feature length chase across a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Both the premise and the outrageous action will require a total suspension of disbelief, but, in the hands of original creator George Miller, this should prove to be a thrilling ride.
15th May (3rd Week) – Pitch Perfect 2
Released just one day later, Pitch Perfect 2 serves as a light-hearted alternative, or perhaps complement, to Mad Max. Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld joins the cast, led by Anna Kendrick, as the Barden Bellas head to an international a cappella competition. If you enjoyed the first film’s attempt to be Glee with a bit more wit and edge, you’ll probably like this one too.
22nd May (4th Week) – Tomorrowland
The first, and only, non-sequel on this list, Tomorrowland sees teenager Britt Robertson and former boy-genius George Clooney team up to explore a secretive, hidden world. It is directed by Brad Bird, who is known for his unique creative vision, and Hugh Laurie also makes an appearance. It is certainly a film with a lot of potential for both fun and mystery. Tomorrowland is based on an area in the Disneyland parks, but don’t let that put you off.
12th June (7th Week) – Jurassic World
The Jurassic Park sequels from the turn of the century have made the franchise that started with Spielberg’s visionary original something of a joke. Jurassic World will hopefully restore its credibility, with an exciting story and top of the range special effects. Chris Pratt, who burst onto the A-list in Guardians of the Galaxy, continues his ascent from Parks and Recreation goofball to mainstream, big-screen star. From recently released footage, it looks like the writing will be rather less cutting-edge than the effects.
When term ends, there is still a lot to look forward to: Pixar’s latest film Inside Out, another Marvel outing in Ant-Man and the spell-check defying Terminator Genisys. And that’s all before the return of two of cinema’s biggest franchises towards the end of the year – James Bond in Spectre and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s definitely a good year to be a fan of blockbuster franchises.